Marc Andreyko talks comic anthology Love Is Love — plus Matt Bomer's exclusive excerpt
J.K. Rowling, Patton Oswalt, Damon Lindelof, and Taran Killam are just some of the names you’ll find gracing the pages of IDW’s Love Is Love.
Organized by Marc Andreyko (Batwoman), the comic anthology was created to honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.
The 144-page graphic novel is published by IDW with the support of DC Entertainment, thus allowing the project’s more than 200 creators to incorporate many iconic DC characters, some of which are queer themselves. But the comic character playground isn’t just limited to DC’s stable of heroes. Also featured will be characters from Archie comics, and thanks to Rowling, Harry Potter himself.
The collection’s current list of contributors boasts several big-name comic creators, including Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming, Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Paul Dini, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Mark Millar, Marguerite Bennett, Kieron Gillen, Cat Staggs, Amanda Deibert, Rafael Albuquerque, Steven Orlando, and Aneke. What’s more, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins will be introducing it.
All the work and art produced for the anthology’s 100-plus stories has been donated, with the proceeds from sales of the comic going to Equality Florida’s fund to benefit the victims and survivors of the tragedy, as well as their families. A second fund-raising effort will take place in 2017, with the donated art being auctioned off to raise more money.
Ahead of the comic’s release on Dec. 28, EW talked to Andreyko about his experience working on the project. Also, get an exclusive first look at a page from the collection written by none other than American Horror Story star Matt Bomer, with art by Cully Hamner (Green Lantern, Blue Beetle).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What has the process of working on this anthology been like?
ANDREYKO: It has been overwhelming in the best possible way. So many talented folks that I admire who gave their all in their contributions. I never expected the level of outpouring we got but I couldn’t be more humbled or grateful.
What would you say has been the most gratifying part of this whole experience?
The unilateral support from so many different people who gave of themselves without hesitation. I hope this sort of unity against tragedy continues in the post-election world.
There are a lot of big name contributors to this project. How did you go about pairing up writers and artists?
I matched most of them up myself, other folks came in as a team already. It was a fun challenge matching up writers and artists and a balance between finding complimentary talents and mixing things up a bit.
There’s a diverse range of contributors, not just in terms of identity, but also comics-creating experience, included in the effort. Why was that important for you?
Because this tragedy affected everyone to some degree, it was important to have diverse voices: gay, straight, trans, male, female, black, white, Latino, Asian… Diversity is a wonderful thing and I wanted the book to reflect the makeup of the culture. And comics experience wasn’t a deal breaker. I wanted people from every group who all had specific points of view.
See Matt Bomer’s contribution here:
How would you describe the impact on readers of seeing big name characters like Superman and Poison Ivy, or even Harry Potter and Kevin Keller from Archie featured in this issue?
It is hugely important for gay kids who might not be out or in a safe space to live openly to see their heroes and the publishers of these heroes telling them that they are not just okay, but are valued and loved. Representation is important for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to have familial support or live in a big city. Having DC, Archie, and Harry Potter in this book could quite literally help people at risk know that they are loved.
What is the biggest takeaway you want readers to have?
Simply that, as the title says, “love is love.” We should all be lucky enough not only to love someone but to be loved in return. No one should be threatened or scared about other people loving one another. Love should be celebrated and encouraged.
You’re not just donating all the proceeds from the sales of the anthology, but you’re also doing an auction in the spring. Could you tell me more about that?
Yes, at MegaCon in Orlando at the end of May, all the original art will be auctioned off with the proceeds joining the monies raised from sales of the book. Many, many of the contributors will be on hand to sign copies of the book and meet fans and the families affected. So many great pieces were created that I wish I was a millionaire so I could buy them all. Each and every piece emanates love and is priceless. I cannot thank everyone involved in this book, contributors, editors, publishers, letterers, colorists, production folks, publicity, enough. Everyone came together to create a beautiful piece of art that I think will resonate to readers for many years into the future.
Love Is Love will be available for purchase for $9.99 starting Dec. 28.